CLICK TO CALL 780-944-0792

Winter 2022 Student News

Welcome to CCI-LEX Student News!

Happy new year?!  At the start of January, CCI-LEX put all classes online again .  This was not the start to the new year that we wanted…But now, the new year has begun, and I feel optimistic, especially reading the great stories in this edition of Student News!

We are excited to share the story of a CCI-LEX student turn volunteer, introduce our student advisor, share a student-written story, and more! I am confident that CCI-LEX will have many more great stories this year, and I hope all of you will be a part of these stories.

I wish you all great health and success for 2022 and the Year of the Tiger! We look forward to welcoming students and teachers back to our classrooms this month!

Happy Reading,

Anne-Marie Kallal, Executive Director

Alain’s Journey from Student to Teacher 

Meet Alain, one of our wonderful volunteer teachers! He is teaching the High Beginner class right now in our LEX Program. You might not know this, but Alain is also an immigrant and currently a student in our CCI Program! As an experienced teacher of over 10 years in the Philippines, Alain has a lot of experiences and stories to share!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I arrived in Canada in August 2009. It’s been so long but I still feel like I am new to Canada. I still feel like I am a baby here! I started studying at CCI-LEX last year in September. I have been here for a few months now. Before I came to Canada, I was a teacher in the Philippines for 10 years.

What do you do now?

Now I am taking Advanced ESL and the Preparation for IELTS class at CCI-LEX. I was recommended to try volunteering as a teacher. I sat down for observations and demonstration days and received good feedback for my teaching at CCI-LEX. I am now teaching the LEX High Beginner afternoon class every week. I went through a lot of life experiences. I got injured from work in 2020 and got the results last year that my injury was permanent. They asked me what career I wanted to do. I suggested that teaching would be great, but it is difficult for me to become a teacher here in Canada. The process to receive a teaching certificate is complicated. However, given the chance I would like to become a teacher again.

How did you start studying at CCI-LEX?

WCB (Workers’ Compensation Board) found CCI-LEX for me and I really liked the curriculum and structure. I tried other programs but they were not beneficial to me… but when I tried CCI-LEX I really enjoyed it!

What do you like most about CCI-LEX?

I really like the people at CCI-LEX. I like the positive energy and good atmosphere of the school. I like the staff and teachers and everyone around me. I feel safe and welcome here and people are very accommodating, helpful, and friendly! I feel like I am not different than them. I have found a home here!

How did CCI-LEX help you adjust to life in Canada?

I am now more confident with my learning. Before, I was not confident enough with my speaking and writing. After I attended CCI-LEX, I became more confident in my knowledge of English. I am learning many different skills now… I feel like I am going in the right direction!

Do you have any fun stories from being a volunteer teacher?

I substituted for a LEX class, and the students asked to see me again next week! They told me they were happy I was their teacher that night. It touched my heart that students valued my presentation. I wished I could teach them again! I want to help them the best that I can.

Did you make any good friends at CCI-LEX?

I have a good connection with most of the people. Relationships are very important and I try to build positive relationships with everyone in my classes. I have one friend, Natalie, from Hong Kong that I met in one of my classes and my other friend is Mohamed. I’m so happy I made two friends from different countries!

Would you recommend CCI-LEX to other students?

Yes, of course! Absolutely I would! The staff and teachers are very supportive. You will really learn from them and when you tell them of your struggles, difficulties or challenges they will listen to you and be there for you! I’m proud to be a part of CCI-LEX!

Meet Somoud, our new Student Advisor!

Somoud is a practicum student from Norquest College.  An immigrant herself, she is taking the Settlement Studies Program where she is learning how to support other newcomers.  CCI-LEX is excited to welcome her as a Student Advisor for the coming months!  If students need help with forms, applications, finding information or resources… Somoud can help!

  My name is Somoud. I came from Palestine and I’ve been in Edmonton for 4 years. I am currently a student at Norquest College. I am passionate about helping people and making a difference in their lives!

How have you been adjusting to life in Canada? 

At the beginning I was not feeling well and everything was different for me. The weather, transportation, filling applications, and appointments were not common things in my country. Everything was new and overwhelming for me, but now I am feeling better. I feel that I have passed the hard times but I still feel like I am a newcomer. I am still not 100% used to living in Canada.

What is your favorite thing about Canada? 

I get the chance to meet people from different cultures. I did not dream that I could meet people from China, India, Japan, or Russia! There are slight differences between people coming from different cultures in facing challenges. It’s been good to hear people and their experiences moving here to Canada. I also like Canada’s resources and needs that people have, especially for women. I also love summer in Canada so much and going to the parks! When I came in October it was miserable, gloomy, and cloudy but then spring came, and then summer was a big shift!

Can you tell us about your program at Norquest College? 

My program was created in 2019 at Norquest College. It’s called Settlement Studies and it is focused on empowering, supporting, and advocating for newcomers in Canada. Some of the skills I learned involved helping newcomers settle in Canada, providing them resources, connecting them with the community, and helping them overcome challenges. I decided to take this program because it reflected my own experience as an immigrant. It reflected the support and help I would have liked to have, and my experience of connecting with people when I first arrived here. I love this program because I want to offer this support to others, to help others find the right resources. In order for newcomers to know what’s available to them we need to connect them to these resources.

What will you be doing at CCI-LEX?

I hope to learn more about Canadian workplace culture since I didn’t get the chance to work in Canada before. My other main focus would be learning strategies and how plans are made like setting goals or preparing plans and putting it on paper. I will get to know students and find out what their main concerns and challenges are. These challenges may look simple to us but may look very challenging for them. I will also focus on making connections with the students and the team. I believe that there is something much deeper and more meaningful than just offering resources on a piece of paper. Each newcomer has a story. You don’t just give them steps, but you can go deeper and try to understand what brought them to you. During my time here, students can chat with me about anything they are struggling with!

How can students or volunteers contact you? 

I will be working at the office on Wednesdays 9:30 am – 4:00 pm and Thursdays from 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm. If students need a different time please call the office or email me to schedule an appointment at

What are you most excited about for this placement? 

I’m excited to meet students in person and help them. This is my chance to put everything I learned into action and practice what I learned. I look forward to seeing all the classrooms full and vibrant soon!

Leanid Kaspiarovich is a student in our LEX evening classes.  He wrote about ‘Coupalle’ a summer festival in his home country of Belarus.  We hope you enjoy reading his story and learning about this traditional holiday.  Thank you Leanid for sharing a piece of Belarus culture!

There are many different holidays in my native country Belarus. I want to talk about an ancient and interesting that celebrate young people there. It’s called “Coupalle.” It’s a summer festival and young people celebrate it on the 3rd Sunday of July. Young girls and guys go out in the evening on weekend and gather together at the riverside. They sing songs in chorus, dance, weave flower wreathes.

When it gets dark, young people make bonfires. The merriment, songs, and dances continue and circle around the confires roundelays. Some couples hold hands and jump over bonfires to clean their souls and thoughts. After that couples take their flower wreathes and let them go along the river.

The nights are short in July. At sunrise guys and girls go along the riverside and look for their flower wreathes. If a guys wreath is next to the girl’s one, that means they will end up together in the future.

– Leanid Kaspiarovich

We are currently recruiting Student Ambassadors for CCI-LEX!

You might be wondering… What is a Student Ambassador? 

A Student Ambassador is a past or current student of CCI-LEX that loves CCI-LEX and wants to tell more people about our school!

What does a Student Ambassador do?

A Student Ambassador will attend training sessions and represent CCI-LEX at different events and participate in activities like:

  • Community visits
  • Attend public events
  • Research on the computer
  • Help at school workshops

Why should I be a Student Ambassador? 

As a Student Ambassador you can share your experiences as a student at CCI-LEX and promote CCI-LEX to new immigrants! You will gain new skills and have a chance to improve your English skills! You can also gain valuable volunteer experience! If you complete a certain amount of hours we can also provide you a reference letter!

How do I become a Student Ambassador? 

Please contact the office or email with your name, phone number, and email .  Yoyo, our Student Events Organizer will contact you!

Student and Teacher Stories

See the Student and Teacher Stories on the Our Stories Page of our website.

Born in Canada but raised in Germany, Temina was the only native English speaker in her English classes, and she decided early on that she wanted to help other people learn this language and travel the world teaching English.

Read More

Learn how Natalie found a new home and way of life learning English at CCI-LEX.

Read More

We’re thrilled to share that supporters of CCI-LEX came together once again and raised $4,400 this past Giving Tuesday, far exceeding our goal for this year’s campaign.  You’ve proven time and again that together, we can achieve great things, and we can’t thank you enough!

You – our donors, teachers, volunteers and friends – are the backbone of CCI-LEX. You make it possible to provide an encouraging atmosphere, welcoming environment, and outstanding English learning experiences for all newcomers in our programs.

We are humbled and grateful for your support. We can’t wait to share your generosity with our learners and look forward to sharing your impact on CCI-LEX, our students, and our community.

What’s Happening at CCI-LEX

Upcoming Dates

Around CCI-LEX

  • March 28 – April 1 – LEX Program Spring Break, No LEX Classes
  • April 17 – 23 – National Volunteer Week

Holiday Closures

  • February 21 – Family Day, School Closed
  • April 15 – 18 – Easter, School Closed

Free Legal & Health Literacy Workshops

In March, Action for Healthy Communities will launch their health literacy program for newcomers. Designed to educate newcomers on health services in Edmonton, these workshops will cover topics like COVID-19 safety, mental health, dentistry and optometry services, and family planning.

Register for Health Literacy for Newcomers

Register for Legal Literacy Education


Subscribe to CCI-LEX Student News